Welcome to Fanduel Value-Play Rankings!
Each week we ask 10 staff members to rank their top players at each Fanduel position. These rankings are based on what our DFS staff believe are the best players at each position with respect to total points they will receive compared to the dollars that they cost. These rankings can be used to help you round out your cash game and GPP lineups, or just provide a guideline for what the Footballguys.com staff believe are the best value-plays to target
If staffers submitted comments, they are included below the tables as well.
Each staffer was asked to rank 8 QBs, 12 RBs, 12 WRs, 8 TEs, 5 PKs, and 5 Defenses. For the purposes of calculating an average rank, if a player was not ranked by a particular staffer, they received a weight that was 1 point higher than the players they ranked. For example. if only 2 staffers ranked a particular quarterback, the other 8 staffers were weighted as giving that quarterback a '9' for average calculation purposes.
FANDUEL CONSENSUS RANKINGS, WEEK 18: QUARTERBACKS
Welcome to the Playoffs - where lineup construction just became significantly harder. No more bargain basement QBs who come off the bench at a minimum salary and carry your team. Oh wait, maybe there are a couple of those...
The three guys that you'd expect at the top of the value charts this week are there because of their expected performance. Ben Roethlisberger has a great matchup against a suspect Miami defense that's giving up over 240 yards per game for the year (16th ranked) and have surrendered 30 passing TDs this season (tied for 25th). Last week Tom Brady shredded them for 276 yards and 3 TDs with 0 ints. The week before Tyrod Taylor hit them up for 329 yards and 3 TDs, 0 ints and added 60 rushing yards to boot. Big Ben isn't going to be running for 60 yards in this game but with a week of rest, you can expect him to have a solid game against the Dolphins this week.
Russell Wilson is the cheapest of the 'Big Three' this week at just 7600, but he also has a great matchup against a weak Detroit secondary that has looked very vulnerable over their last few games. Aaron Rodgers crushed them last week for 300 yards passing and 4 TDs. Dak Prescott had 212 the week before and 3 TDs of his own. The Lions haven't recorded an interception since week 13, and they lost three consecutive games against playoff teams to finish the season and limp into the playoffs. Wilson has over 600 yards passing and 5 passing TDs over his last two games, and he's been playing significantly better since his 5 INT meltdown against the Packers.
Speaking of the Packers - they are the hottest team in the NFC right now, and Aaron Rodgers is a big part of it. With 647 yards and 8 passing TDs over his last two games, it's hard not to automatically click him as your QB this week. But he faces a tough New York Giant defense which is also playing pretty well as of late. Had Dallas not gone on the storybook run that they did, the Giants would have been challenging them for the division title. Instead, they find themselves on the road in Green Bay this week. They may be giving up 250 yards a game through the air, but they rank 2nd in the NFL for TD passes allowed with just 15. Rodgers has proven he can hang with the best, but this will definitely be the toughest challenge he's had in awhile.
Russell Wilson: His ceiling is as high as any quarterback's on the slate, the implied game script sets up nicely, Detroit has the worst pass defense in the league (DVOA), and Wilson is available for significantly less than Aaron Rodgers, or Ben Roethlisberger.
Ben Roethlisberger: The Steelers have the highest implied team total on the slate, and the touchdowns usually come from Roethlisberger when the Steelers are playing at home.
Aaron Rodgers: Tough opposing matchup, but Rodgers comes in white hot with back-to-back games of 300+ yards and four touchdowns.
Ben Roethlisberger: Large Benjamin at home. Don't overthink it!
Eli Manning: The Packers pass defense has been awful allowing 3 straight games of at least 347+ passing yards.
Eli Manning: Look for big-game Manning to show up in frigid Lambeau Field on Sunday.
Ben Roethlisberger: Roethlisberger is at home, where he typically goes off the charts. His early-season faceplant against the Dolphins was on the road and sits squarely in the rear-view mirror.
FANDUEL CONSENSUS RANKINGS, WEEK 18: RUNNING BACKS
Le'Veon Bell is the RB that everyone wants on their roster this week. He's rock solid and facing the Dolphins at home with a week of rest. The problem is that his salary makes it a challenge to build a team around him. Bell is the player with the most projected points. He should be the most expensive.
Lamar Miller returns to action this week, and his salary reflects the few week's that he's had off. At 7100, he's a nice complement to any lineup, and he's a great 'duel threat' RB who catches the ball well out of the backfield. The Raiders are struggling against the run and gave up 147 yards on the ground to Justin Forsett and Devontae Booker last week. Booker also chipped in 52 receiving yards and 2 TDs so you can see the appeal in starting Miller this week. His health may be a concern, but he's back to fully practicing and should be ready to go at full speed this week. Alfred Blue has looked very pedestrian when he was filling in for Miller these last few games, and he will only be an option if Miller isn't 100%.
Zach Zenner represents the best value of the top RBs this week because of his 6200 pricetag. Zenner has taken over the full time rushing duties for the Lions, and 202 yards from scrimmage and 3 TDs over his last two games. Zenner faces a tough defense in Seattle this week, but he's faced the #8 (Green Bay) and #1 (Dallas) run defense over the last two weeks and has proven he can perform. The Lions are struggling and they are an 8 point underdog in this game. The won't be running much, but when they do, Zenner is their man.
Le'Veon Bell: Will be the chalk this week. With his floor/ceiling, don't think you can fade him in cash or GPP.
Lamar Miller: The Texans will lean on their defense and Lamar Miller to win the game.
Zach Zenner: Zenner has made the most of his opportunity the past 2 weeks. 24 and 14 touches. Solid price point.
Lamar Miller: Miller has performed considerably better when the Texans are favored and rushed for 104 yards against Oakland in their October showdown.
Paul Perkins: Averaged 1.4 yards per carry more than Jennings down the stretch and reports inidcate he is likely to be the top back for the Giants in the playoffs.
Le'Veon Bell: Bell just carries a better floor and ceiling than anyone else on the slate, regardless of position. He plugs in nicely with a low-cost value play (there are several).
Zach Zenner: Zenner's price has swollen, but he's produced very well in back-to-back tough matchups.
Zach Zenner: Too cheap for a lead back, and the Seahawks aren't as imposing as they once were.
Le'Veon Bell: Bell has the highest raw projection of any player on the slate. Fade him in tournaments and get buried.
Lamar Miller: Any chance the Texans have of winning depends on their defense and running game. Hopefully, one week is all Miller needed to rest his injured ankle.
Zach Zenner: Seattle has allowed five rushing touchdowns in their last two games. Zenner is cheap and has touchdown equity.
Latavius Murray: I'm warming to the idea of Murray getting a huge workload. Like Houston, Oakland's only shot at scoring points is by running the ball.
FANDUEL CONSENSUS RANKINGS, WEEK 18: WIDE RECEIVERS
|Odell Beckham Jr.||NYG@GB||8900||13||3||13||13||13||4||5||13||13||2||9.2|
|Will Fuller V||OAK@HOU||5000||13||13||13||13||13||13||13||10||13||13||12.7|
|Marvin Jones Jr||DET@SEA||5500||13||12||13||13||13||13||13||13||13||13||12.9|
Antonio Brown is the complement to Le'Veon Bell with the Steelers being a 10 point home favorite and having an implied team total of 28 points. Brown will be even more dangerous having taken last week off and the Steelers will be looking to get up early in this game and force Matt Moore to pass the ball against them. Brown is the chalk play this week, but his salary combined with Bells makes it very hard to stack both in a lineup. You'll need some serious value picks if you combine them both. Luckily we have a few.
Doug Baldwin is reasonably priced at just 6900 this week. He's not as attractive as he would be in a full PPR format, but Baldwin will still get plenty of targets. While he didn't see much action against the 49ers last week (2-44), he absolutely lit up the Cardinals the week before (13-177 and 1 TD). Last week against the Lions, guys like Geronimo Allison had success with 4 receptions for 91 yards and a TD. Staple players like Davante Adams and Jordy Nelson both posted six receptions for 31 and 66 yards respectively. Adams also had 2 receiving TDs. Baldwin is Russell Wilson's favorite target,and he should have a solid game this week against the Lions, and his 6900 salary makes him very attractive this week.
Sterling Shepard is the shark play that many people will be making this week. He's had 14 receptions for 147 yards and 2 TDs over his last three games, and he's going to see a decent amount of action this week with the Packers focused on stopping Odell Beckham Jr. Shepard's 5100 salary makes him a guy you almost have to start if you want to have the top plays like Le'Veon Bell or Antonio Brown this week. Shepard is going to be in a lot of lineups because of that price, so if you're looking for GPP differentiation - Shepard may not be your guy.
Doug Baldwin: Baldwin could go overlooked -- even on this short slate -- after flopping in a soft matchup with the 49ers last week. He has overall WR1 upside, but is priced in the second tier.
Odell Beckham Jr. Beckham could very well roast Green Bay's horrendous secondary, but I don't see Giants at Packers as a high scoring game. If I'm paying up at wide receiver, it will be to Antonio Brown.
Jordy Nelson: Don't underestimate the Giants cornerbacks. They held Nelson to four catches on 13 targets when these teams met in Week 5.
Kenny Stills: Quietly has a touchdown in each of his last four games and five out of his last six.
Antonio Brown: Huge upside for a game in which you would expect the Steelers to come out firing.
Doug Baldwin: The Seahawks implied team total is higher than Green Bay's and only a few points lower than the Steelers. Those points will have to come from somewhere and Baldwin is the best bet considering how bad the running game has been in recent weeks.
Sterling Shepard: If I'm playing a cheap WR3 in GPPs, I want to him to have a realistic shot of scoring a touchdown. Shepard has scored in six of his last nine games.
Odell Beckham Jr. The Packers defense is ranked 31st against the pass. The Giants will be passing early and often.
Kenny Stills: TDs in 4 consecutive games
Jordy Nelson: Nelson faces a stout Giants secondary, but he's eviscerated those all season. Facing a potential shootout, Nelson could excel at a slightly depressed ownership total.
Jermaine Kearse: Kearse isn't much to look at, but he's targeted heavily near the goal line in Seattle's shallow receiving corps.
FANDUEL CONSENSUS RANKINGS, WEEK 18: TIGHT ENDS
Eric Ebron is the top value play at TE this week. Ebron has 14 receptions for 150 yards receiving over the last two games, and he's an important part of the Detroit offense. The Seahawks are pretty tough on opposing TEs, but Ebron should still have plenty of opportunities with people focusing on Golden Tate and Marvin Jones Jr. Ebron's salary of 5700 is pretty attractive.
C.J. Fiedorowicz may be hard to say (and even harder to spell) but he's been a nice surprise part of the Houston passing offense this season. With Brock Osweiler back under center, so you can expect him to go back to his 4-6 receptions per game pace that he had before Osweiler was replaced by Tom Savage. The Raiders are weak on passing defense, and opposing TEs like Vigil Green and Jack Dolyle have had recent success against them. At 5300, you can expect he'll be targeted in a lot of lineups to help with salary cap issues caused by RB and WR.
If you do have some money to spare this week, consider Jimmy Graham at 6600 against the Lions. Graham was up and down this season, but he's on the upswing again with 6 receptions for over 100 yards and a TD over the last two weeks. If the Lions focus on taking away Doug Baldwin or Jermaine Kearse this week, Graham is going to see more action. He's expensive, but worth it if you can afford it.
Will Tye: TE is not a bad spot to punt this week
Jimmy Graham: Perfect tournament play. No one will have money left over for Graham after squeezing in studs at QB, RB, and WR.
Ladarius Green: Miami has allowed 62% more fantasy points per game to tight ends than the league average over the last five weeks, including multi-touchdown games to Dennis Pitta and Charles Clay. If Green is able to suit up, he might be in the best spot of any tight end on the slate.
Eric Ebron: The Lions project to be coming from behind, and that bodes well for Ebron to see some extra targets.
FANDUEL CONSENSUS RANKINGS, WEEK 18: KICKERS
All of this week's kickers are priced at 5000 or below, so it's basically pick the guy you like the most. The Steelers have the highest implied team total with 28 this week, but they like to go for 2 points a lot, which knocks Chris Boswell down a peg or two. Seattle and Green Bay are both playing at home and look to score 24-25 points this week. Steve Hauschka and Mason Crosby should perform pretty well in those matches. Robbie Gould spent years kicking against the Packers when he was with Chicago, so facing Green Bay at home is no challenge for him. If the Giants can't punch the ball into the end zone, Gould will be there to clean up for them.
Steve Hauschka: Vegas' scoring projections point us to Hauschka, who probably should be the week's priciest kicker but comes at a solid discount.
Chris Boswell: Little nervous about the potentially cold temps, but I'll go with the kicker from the projected highest scoring team of the week.
FANDUEL CONSENSUS RANKINGS, WEEK 18: DEFENSES
The top defenses this week are as much about their opponents as they are about their strengths. Houston is solid, and they have one of the best pass defenses in the league. But they are facing Connor Cook, a rookie QB who saw his first NFL action last week and will be making his first start this week. Talk about being thrown into the deep end of the pool. Cook has had very little time to prepare for the pressure he's about to face, and it's a good bet he's going to struggle. The Seahawks face a Detroit team that has lost three straight games to playoff teams. They are an 8 point favorite at home, and should be put the Lions down early and control the game for most of the second half, forcing Detroit to pass and open themselves up to sacks and turnovers. Pittsburgh is a 10 point favorite at home, and they will be facing Matt Moore under center. Moore has performed above expectations in his last few starts, but he's facing a Steeler team that is coming off a week where they essentially rested most of their key players. They are only 4700 this week, and make an excellent stack opportunity with Le'Veon Bell.
Houston: Texans are in a good spot here in a home matchup against Connor Cook making his first NFL start for the Raiders
Oakland: While the Raiders will be starting a rookie quarterback, they will not be the most offensively-challenged club on the slate. That honor belongs to the Texans, and I'll look for the Raiders to come out strong and force some turnovers.
Houston: Connor Cook making his first career start on the road. Nuff said.
Pittsburgh: Pittsburgh defense will be fired up at home. Positive game script if they are playing with a lead.
Good luck this weekend!